Glenn Beck: Congressman Jason Chaffetz


Congressman Chaffetz from Utah

GLENN: Let's go to Congressman Chaffetz from Utah. Hello, Congressman.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Hey, Glenn.

GLENN: How are things?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Hey, I'm fired up.

GLENN: Ready to go?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Ready to go.

GLENN: Nothing better. Fired up? Ready to go! Fired up! Ready to go! Thank you for that, Barack Obama. Do you know what the supertax is? We're not talking they are not talking about one in congress yet, are they?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: We're taxing every moment we can possibly do it.

GLENN: I'm you know what? I'm doing a segment on television tonight. If you made $60,000 a year and you lived in New York, you made $60,000 a year, I'm going to show you what you were paying last year in taxes and fees and what you are paying now, this year. And it's pretty, pretty staggering. Haven't seen all of the numbers yet but from what I have seen, pretty staggering on what you super people down in Washington have been working on.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Well, I can tell you here in D.C. we're spending it faster than we're evening taxing it. So

GLENN: You called me two days ago because you and I are actually working on a special project. I'm looked at Joe. Can I say? I'm not going to announce it, but can I say? I'm working on a special project because I've been looking for people that just, I don't care if I agree or disagree with you. Just clean up the corruption. And hopefully we'll be able to talk about that openly on something that I'm working with you on here in the coming days and weeks. But you called me the other day and you said, "Glenn, they're spending a big they're sending a big omnibus bill our way; we're supposed to vote on it, and I can't get a copy of it." Can you tell this story?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Yeah. I mean, it's I don't know how to put enough descriptors about how insane this process is, but they took six agencies, their appropriations, meshed them into one big, bad omnibus bill, I mean, this is seriously this is bad government at its worst. When the bill was originated, it was 1,088 pages, and it has to go to the rules committee before we as members of congress in the rank and file here can actually see it. It ended up being more than 2500 pages, and we voted on it roughly 24 hours after we got it. It represents half of the entire discretionary budget for the entire federal government, $446 billion, 2500 pages. There are 5,000 earmarks and at its baseline represents a 12% increase in spending for their base budgets, not counting the stimulus and all the other crap, a 12% increase over the base budget from just last year.

GLENN: Well, that's because business is so good. I mean, who doesn't expand at a point like this? Give me your fave well, first of all out of the 2400 pages, what was your favorite page?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: They don't even number these pages. It's hard to do. I'll give you a couple that are just absolutely out of control. I've sponsored a bill to get rid of what's called the international fund for Ireland. This was started by Tip O'Neill because we somehow as a country had to help Ireland. There is nobody, but nobody in the congress and I've been working on this for literally ten months that will take responsibility and say, oh, yeah, that's my project and this is good. In fact, we called over to the ambassador from Ireland and said, what is this? And he said, oh, with well, we're working to phase that out in 2010. Well, they got it increased. Instead of paying $15 million of American people's money, we now in this omnibus bill are going to pay them $17 million.

GLENN: Do we get good coffee out of the deal?

PAT: Why do you hate the Irish so much, congressman?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: It is just a check to the government of Ireland to say, here are $17 million.

GLENN: You know what it is, Chaffetz? You know what it is with you, Chaffetz? You are from Utah. What's the state just directly north of Utah? Idaho! Why do you hate potatoes from overseas so much!

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: I mean, it's just $3 million for bike racks in Washington D.C.? I'm reading here, I pulled one up because I thought at random I'm going to take a page. I take Page 24 of the appropriations bill regarding transportation. We're going to spend $600,000 for Sunset Boulevard streetscape beautification in California. We know how great Sunset Boulevard is. We have the Elvis Presley Boulevard improvement in Tennessee is going to get $500,000.

GLENN: Excuse me. Excuse me.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: And $1,948,000 is going to go to the Fish Lake Trail completion in the State of Washington.

GLENN: Hold on just a second. First of all, you've never been to Fish Lake, have you?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: I can't tell you where it is.

GLENN: It's in Washington. I can't go any deeper than that. So listen. Congressman, these are the, these are just the road and infrastructure improvements that the president has been talking about. That's all these are. These are the shovel ready projects.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: This is insane. We're $12 trillion in debt. Next week they tell us we get to vote on a $1.8 trillion increase to the debt limit. And you still have people look in the camera and say we're serious about cutting the deficit, we're serious about this. No, we're not. We're not making any hard choices.

GLENN: Are you saying the Fish Lake Trail shouldn't happen?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: I'm saying we've got enough Fish Lake trails. We need the American people need their money back.

GLENN: Okay. So first of all, you couldn't get the tell me the process of, okay, here's the insane omnibus bill that's coming in.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Right.

GLENN: You have to vote on it 24 hours later, right?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Yeah.

GLENN: You're trying to get a copy of it. What happens?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: You couldn't, you couldn't get it. I mean, until it comes out of the rules committee you physically cannot get it. What happens, the House passes the bills, the Senate passes the bills, they go to conference. Well, that's a closed door meeting. Guys like me can't get in there. I'm just a member of congress. And so then they send it over to the rules committee and then it starts to get debated and then the bill goes from 1,088 pages to 2500 pages with 5,000 earmarks.

GLENN: Is that a reduction? Because we've been

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: And we vote on it the next day.

GLENN: I know that we were promised by both the Republicans and the Democrats that earmarks were disgusting and they were going to decrease them or stop them. Is that a decrease in earmarks?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Shockingly 5,000 earmarks is a decrease but, you know, they have what are called airdropped earmarks. These are the most egregious of all of them because they didn't go through any sort of committee process, there was no openness, transparency. They literally showed up for the first time in this report. And so I can't tell you, I still can't tell you which ones are the air dropped earmarks that literally have never seen the light of day. And that's the thing. The thing that's a shame about this bill, the reason you do an omnibus bill is to hide stuff. And you drop it in right before Christmas when nobody's paying attention and we've got all these other, you know, crises and things going on. That's why they do these bills. That's the dirty secret here that I've come to learn about how they throw in all the crap.

GLENN: So we have an average of 10% increase in domestic spending.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: 12. 12.

GLENN: 12. We have

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: And by the way, the year before that, Glenn, was another 12%. So we did 12% and then this year we'll be doing another 12%.

GLENN: We have 5200 bipartisan earmarks at a cost of almost $4 billion.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: 400 well, I'm sorry. Of the earmarks? You are right. The entire bill is $446 billion. But you are right, the earmarks are nearly $4 billion.

GLENN: Now, there's something else that is bothering you. And when you told me, I think my I mean, my head exploded because I believe, I believe this is the new American prison program. And a lot of people say, well, that's a nice prison to be in. But it is prison, and make no mistake. It is prison. It is a prison where you are paid $150,000 a year. You want to explain the new jobs program for the United States government, what's going on with the pay scale there?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Yeah, USA Today has got a good I think it's on the cover here today. I've been working with this reporter. He did a great job. This is you know, you just shudder when you say it out loud. The number of employees, federal employees that are earning more than $150,000 a year...

GLENN: Listen to this.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Over the last 18 months has more than doubled. So if you are a federal employee, I mean, I can name maybe a couple of dozen jobs that would justify over $150,000 a year. There are now 66,000 federal jobs that pay more than $150,000 a year. And that's in it was 30,000 just back in December of 07.

GLENN: Now, is it possible that there were just a lot of people that were making $149,900 18 months ago?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Yes, but still that's ridiculous. Here's the other analysis. People earning over $100,000 a year. In December of '07 that was roughly 263,000 people. Now, just 18 months later based on the numbers of June '09, 382,758 people are making more than $100,000 as a federal employee. And if you look at the numbers of who's earning over $170,000, that has gone from 11,000 plus people to over 22,000 people earning that much money. I just, there is no way to justify those numbers. It's just absolutely shocking.

GLENN: Any idea what the reason is?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Well, you know, there were some across the board pay levels. One of the arguments that you hear is that, oh, well, we've got to pay market rates and we've got to do this and all that.

GLENN: Let the market... I'm sorry, congressman. Let the market pay market rates.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Exactly. But what you what I think you see is an aging workforce, and they continue to say, "Oh, we're not paid, we're not paid, we're not compensated." We have the very low turnover rate in the federal government. That to me as a business person indicates that we're paying too much! We should have a much higher turnover rate. If we had a higher turnover rate, that means that you're probably not paying maybe as much as you could if you wanted to increase that. But at the federal government I don't want to do that. I don't want to do that. So we're paying so much, people don't leave these jobs. They don't

GLENN: I will tell you this. I think it is this is why I say it's slavery. If you are working at a job where you are making $100,000 a year and it's a bureaucracy, I mean, you are not really expected to do anything, you are not really expected, there's no real "Hold your feet to the fire," you are not going to lose your job because, I mean, you can't get fired. You are not going to lose your job because the government's not going to go out of business, or so you'll think. All of these things are happening. Why not? This is why the Soviet Union was the Soviet Union. Only the people that would leave that job would be the people that would like to have a little bit of self respect. If you can't lose your job, if you are not expected to perform and you make an awful lot of money that you can't replace in the private sector, who leaves that job? And you become more and more enslaved to the system. You work forever at that job and you don't leave because you don't have any self respect anymore. You're not required to compete. You're not required to do anything. You punch in, you punch out, you become a DMV worker. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, but this system is absolutely, this is going to lead us to the economic glories of the Soviet Union. It's going to.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: It's absolutely shocking. We're adding, the federal government is adding about 10,000 new jobs a month to our payroll.

GLENN: Of course they are. They have to create new jobs. All right. Congressman Chaffetz, let me ask you one last question.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Sure.

GLENN: Nancy Pelosi said, "I really like this whole Medicare option now." I think this has been the plan from the beginning because they can say, okay, there's no public option. But help me out on this one. Two questions: One, how do you make sure that it's not going to cost the American people a trillion dollars by cutting Medicare and finding the fraud in Medicare but then instead of the public option, you expand Medicare? How, how does that work exactly?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: That's the insanity that is Washington, D.C. You take a failing program and want to double it up and just allow more I mean, it is the ultimate in the one payer system. It is the ultimate bad healthcare program. I mean, I do wonder if maybe that was the end game from the very beginning.

GLENN: I think it was. How what are the odds? I think this thing's going to pass while everybody's on Christmas vacation.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: You know, that's they come right down here to the finish line and people are distracted with all the other holiday stuff.

GLENN: Yep.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: You know, they keep us late in the night voting on this stuff and then nobody's paying attention. That's

GLENN: Do you think it's going to pass? Do you think it's going to pass? Will we come back next year and have this thing done?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: I pray that it doesn't.

GLENN: I do, too, but that wasn't the question. Do you think it's going to happen?

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: I'm afraid it might. I really am. They have got numbers, and until the members of congress in the House and the Senate, until they are afraid of their constituents more than they are afraid of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, this will continue to be a problem.

GLENN: Unbelievable.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: It won't change until that fundamentally, they are if they know that their people in their districts are paying attention.

GLENN: Congressman Chaffetz, thank you so much. We'll talk again.

CONGRESSMAN CHAFFETZ: Thanks, Glenn.

GLENN: You bet, bye bye. I want you to know I don't endorse any candidate, I don't endorse any congressman, any senator. I don't trust any of them. But I decided I'm not going to go to I'm going to go to the barrel. I'm not going to keep going. I'm going to go to the tree; I'm not going to go to the barrel. I've stopped looking for people who have been there for a long time. Name the person that has gone to Washington and come back years later as a better person. I can't. So I'm going to go to the freshmen, while they still have an ounce of their soul left, and Chaffetz is one of them. And he really does want to get in there and expose the corruption, and he really doesn't care which side it's on. You wait. We're working on some things. But pay attention, America. Buckle up. It's going to be a bumpy ride.


 

Stop trying to be right and think of the children

Mario Tama/Getty Images

All the outrage this week has mainly focused on one thing: the evil Trump administration and its minions who delight in taking children from their illegal immigrant parents and throwing them all in dungeons. Separate dungeons, mind you.

That makes for a nice, easy storyline, but the reality is less convenient. Most Americans seem to agree that separating children from their parents — even if their parents entered the US illegally — is a bad thing. But what if that mom and dad you're trying to keep the kids with aren't really the kids' parents? Believe it or not, fraud happens.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

While there are plenty of heartbreaking stories of parents simply seeking a chance for a better life for their children in the US, there are also corrupt, abusive human traffickers who profit from the illegal immigration trade. And sorting all of this out is no easy task.

This week, the Department of Homeland Security said that since October 2017, more than 300 children have arrived at the border with adults claiming to be their parents who turned out not to be relatives. 90 of these fraud cases came from the Rio Grande Valley sector alone.

In 2017, DHS reported 46 causes of fraudulent family claims. But there have already been 191 fraud cases in 2018.

Shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

When Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pointed out this 315 percent increase, the New York Times was quick to give these family fraud cases "context" by noting they make up less than one percent of the total number of illegal immigrant families apprehended at the southern border. Their implication was that Nielsen was exaggerating the numbers. Even if the number of fraud cases at the border was only 0.001 percent, shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

This is the most infuriating part of this whole conversation this week (if you can call it a "conversation") — that both sides have an angle to defend. And while everyone's busy yelling and making their case, children are being abused.

What if we just tried, for two seconds, to love having mercy more than we love having to be right all the time?

Remember when cartoons were happy things? Each panel took you on a tiny journey, carrying you to an unexplored place. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud writes:

The comics creator asks us to join in a silent dance of the seen and the unseen. The visible and the invisible. This dance is unique to comics. No other artform gives so much to its audience while asking so much from them as well. This is why I think it's a mistake to see comics as a mere hybrid of the graphic arts and prose fiction. What happens between . . . panels is a kind of magic only comics can create.

When that magic is manipulated or politicized, it often devolves the artform into a baseless thing. Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street published the perfect example of low-brow deviation of the artform: A six-panel approach at satire, which imitates the instructions-panel found in the netted cubbyhole behind seats on airplanes. The cartoon is a critique of the recent news about immigrant children being separated from their parents after crossing the border. It is a step-by-step guide to murdering US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.

RELATED: Cultural appropriation has jumped the shark, and everyone is noticing

The first panel shows a man shoving an infant into a cage meant for Pomeranians. The following five panels feature instructions, and include pictures of a cartoonish murder.

The panels read as follows:

  1. If an ICE agent tries to take your child at the border, don't panic.
  2. Pull your child away as quickly as possibly by force.
  3. Gently tell your child to close his/her eyes and ears so they won't witness what you are about to do.
  4. Grab the ICE agent from behind and push your knife into his chest with an upward thrust, causing the agent's sternum to break.
  5. Reach into his chest and pull out his still beating heart.
  6. Hold his bloody heart out for all other agents to see, and tell them that the same fate awaits them if they f--- with your child again.

Violent comics are nothing new. But most of the time, they remain in the realms of invented worlds — in other words, not in our own, with reference to actual people, let alone federal agents.

The mainstream media made a game of crying racism with every cartoon depiction of Obama during his presidency, as well as during his tenure as Senator, when the New Yorker, of all things, faced scrutiny for depicting him in "Muslim clothing." Life was a minefield for political cartoonists during the Obama era.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

This year, we saw the leftist outrage regarding The Simpsons character Apu — a cartoon representation of a highly-respected, though cartoonishly-depicted, character on a cartoon show composed of cartoonishly-depicted characters.

We all remember Charlie Hebdo, which, like many outlets that have used cartoon satire to criticize Islam, faced the wrath and ire of people unable to see even the tamest representation of the prophet, Muhammad.

Interesting, isn't it? Occupy Wall Street publishes a cartoon that advocates murdering federal agents, and critics are told to lighten up. Meanwhile, the merest depiction of Muhammad has resulted in riots throughout the world, murder and terror on an unprecedented scale.

The intersection of Islam and comics is complex enough to have its own three-hour show, so we'll leave it at that, for now. Although, it is worth mentioning the commentary by satirical website The Onion, which featured a highly offensive cartoon of all the major religious figures except Muhammad. It noted:

Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened.

Of course, Occupy Wall Street is free to publish any cartoon they like. Freedom of speech, and so on—although there have been several instances in which violent cartoons were ruled to have violated the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" limitation of the First Amendment.

Posting it to Twitter is another issue — this is surely in violation of Twitter's violent content policy, but something tells me nothing will come of it. It's a funny world, isn't it? A screenshot of a receipt from Chick-fil-A causes outrage but a cartoon advocating murder gets crickets.

RELATED: Twitter mob goes ballistic over Father's Day photo of Caitlyn Jenner. Who cares?

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud concludes that, "Today the possibilities for comics are — as they've always been — endless. Comics offers . . . range and versatility, with all the potential imagery of film and painting plus the intimacy of the written word. And all that's needed is the desire to be heard, the will to learn, and the ability to see."

Smile, and keep moving forward.

Crude and awful as the Occupy Wall Street comic is, the best thing we can do is nod and look elsewhere for the art that will open our eyes. Let the lunatics draw what they want, let them stew in their own flawed double standards. Otherwise, we're as shallow and empty as they are, and nothing good comes of that. Smile, and keep moving forward.

Things are getting better. Show the world how to hear, how to learn, how to see.

People should start listening to Nikki Haley

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Okay. Let's take a vote. You know, an objective, quantifiable count. How many resolutions has the UN Human Rights Council adopted condemning dictatorships? Easy. Well. How do you define "dictatorship"?

Well, one metric is the UN Human Rights Council Condemnation. How many have the United Nations issued to China, with a body count higher than a professional Call of Duty player?

Zero.

How about Venezuela, where socialism is devouring its own in the cruelest, most unsettling ways imaginable?

Zero.

And Russia, home of unsettling cruelty and rampant censorship, murder and (actual) homophobia?

Zero.

Iraq? Zero. Turkey? Iraq? Zero. Cuba? Zero. Pakistan? Zero.

RELATED: Nikki Haley just dropped some serious verbal bombs on Russia at the UN

According to UN Human Rights Council Condemnations, 2006-2016, none of these nations is as dangerous as we'd imagined. Or, rather, none of them faced a single condemnation. Meanwhile, one country in particular has faced unbelievable scrutiny and fury — you'll never guess which country.

No, it's not Somalia. It's Israel. With 68 UN Human Rights Council Condemnations! In fact, the number of total United Nations condemnations against Israel outnumbers the total of condemnations against all other countries combined. The only country that comes close is Syria, with 15.

The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of what it perceives as an entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers as members.

In an address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Nikki Haley said:

Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy. This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday... No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.

Maybe people should start listening to Haley. Hopefully, they will. Not likely, but there's no crime in remaining hopeful.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

RELATED: If Bruce was never a he and always a she, who won the men's Olympic gold in 1976?

Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?